Much of the Star Wars hype and focus lately has been centred around Episode VII’s The Force Awakens, and with good reason. We are now within the 365 day countdown till the film opens, we’ve had the first teaser trailer released, and slowly but surely bits and pieces in regard to cast, plot and character names are being drip-fed to the hungry crowd. With all these goodies and an end date in sight, it has been easy for the casual fan to forget that hot on the heels of Episode VII, we’ve got another Star Wars film to look forward to and this one is a first for the Star Wars franchise.
2016 marks the year that the first of the Star Wars standalone films is to be released. So far we have been told next to nothing about these films apart from the fact that they are separate from the action of the current trilogy and would focus around “great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga.”
Following this announcement from Disney CEO Bob Iger in February last year, many anticipated that a film would star bounty hunter Boba Fett, with a film featuring Yoda speculated as the first film. However, all that speculation has been called into question with a report published this week that it is none other than everyone’s favourite scoundrel, Han Solo that the first standalone film with revolve around.
According to Making Star Wars, a blog run by a group of Star Wars enthusiasts based in San Francisco and Anaheim, California whose intel from Episode VII has been pretty spot on, the new film, codenamed Luminac Industrial Goods is all about Solo.
In a Christmas Day post, Editor in Chief, Jason Ward shared the following:
“Since there has never been a Star Wars spin-off film like what we’re about to get, there’s no good or bad track record. For this reason, we’re having to rely pretty much entirely on the sources that have panned out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So today’s information comes from a friend that did give us legit Star Wars: The Force Awakens set photos and more.
“A code name for the production is: Luminac Industrial Goods. They go on to say there’s going to be a really interesting situation at Pinewood Studios. The filming will eventually overlap with some of Star Wars: Episode VIII. Who are they hearing the film is about? Han Solo.”
They also had some interesting casting news for the film… Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul. “They went on to say the word around the current production at Pinewood is that Aaron Paul is looking to be attached to the first Star Wars spin-off film in some fashion.” They did state, however that “there was no direct implication he was playing Han Solo.”
Solo would be a great character to start the standalone films off with. With an interesting and sordid life before he became entangled with Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and a couple of droids after meeting in a cantina in Mos Eisley, his story would be easily accessible for fans, guaranteed to appeal to many, and there have been many hints and references to parts of his story littered through the original trilogy. It would be a very smart move on the part of Disney and Lucasfilm.
Having Paul attached to the project is also exciting. Paul is an intense, intelligent actor that brings a lot of depth and emotion to his work, but also has that quirky sense of humour and charisma that endeared Harrison Ford (and Solo, not that I’m attaching him to that role) to so many in the late 70s-early 80s when his career was just taking off. Having had a successful run in Breaking Bad, Paul is looking for the ideal project to jumpstart his film career and signing on to this kind of film couldn’t be better for him.
What does concern me about the accuracy of this report is the fact that most of the talk around the standalone films was that they were going to feature characters “not part of the overall saga”. This was already questioned with the rumours of the Yoda-film, but that was explained away by some by the fact that Yoda died at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. Like Yoda, Solo is a fairly major player in the saga. Has the thinking regarding the standalone films changed, or was information to Iger misrepresented? If we’re to use The Force Awakens as a guide, we’re unlikely to know for sure until the film’s first teaser trailer is released this time next year.
The first standalone film is due to be released December 2016 with Gareth Edwards directing a Gary Whitta screenplay.
Would you be interested in seeing a Han Solo standalone film? Are there other characters you’d like to see explored in greater depth? Hit us up in the comments below.
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